What do you do when you have a lot of DIY projects you want to try but have young kids around who might get in the way? Involve them!
My four kids were born in the span of five years. That’s a lot of extra little hands! I’ve learned I can wait for that small window of time when they’re all asleep or distracted to get my projects done or I can figure out ways to involve them in the process.
I’ve tried both and the latter is easier and usually involves less tears. It’s been a great patience-builder for myself and my kids enjoy being involved in what I’m doing.
Here are their favorite projects:
In our house, we make a soothing herbal lip balm that feels great on dry, cracked lips. The kids love pouring in the herbs and wax (as well as applying it liberally to their lips). Before we created that recipe, we started with a simple lip balm. If you’d like to try out a quick, easy lip balm with the kids, here’s a great recipe to try:
- 3 Tablespoons beeswax (find beeswax here)
- 1⁄2 cup coconut oil (find high quality coconut oil here)
- 8 drops peppermint essential oil (find 100% pure essential oils here)
Melt the coconut oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Add the wax and let it melt. Remove from heat and add the peppermint essential oil. Pour into containers and label.
My kids love dirt and jump at the chance to play in it. Planting seeds for the garden is the perfect opportunity to let them do something they love and involve them in an important project for the family.
We’ve done this a lot over the past few years and now, the simplest way for us to go about this project is to give the kids as much freedom as possible. They each get their own cup to scoop soil, an egg carton or cartons to plant in and pick of their seeds from the seed bag. It’s fun to see how they choose to plant their crops.
Just don’t forget to label what got planted so when lettuce and sunflowers start sprouting in your toddler’s container, you won’t be surprised.
Scooping, grating and mixing makes for great fun for little kids. When it’s time to make laundry detergent in our home, the food processor and I are surrounded by four little ones asking for a chance to help.
The bigger kids get to measure out the borax and run the food processor, while the littlest ones get to pour in pre-scooped washing soda and grated soap. They get to choose which essential oils will go in and I pour them (because even my oldest has a tendency to want to pour in the whole bottle – they just smell so good!).
I don’t know if it’s because they played a part in making the laundry detergent, but asking them to help start the washing machine gets an immediate yes.
We homeschool our kids and one of my favorite ways to teach science is by heading to the kitchen. I especially like fermenting foods because we can discuss science and health benefits and practice patience.
Making yogurt is a really simple project - all you need is milk, a yogurt starter and some basic kitchen tools. There are lots of great yogurt recipes here to get you started. (Buy yogurt starters here.)
The first time we made homemade gelatin snacks, my kids were so excited. They had helped pour in the boxed stuff before we became a diyNatural family, but now we were taking it to a whole new level.
They loved choosing the juice flavor, pouring everything together and blending it all up in our blender, which made a beautiful layered look when we poured into the dish to cool. If you’re new to making gelatin or want to make it extra special, I highly suggest trying these gelatin desserts.
One of the first projects I tried with the kids was bread. Frankly, I wanted to make it by myself, but my oldest insisted on helping out. I was surprised at how much fun he had with just a little mixing and kneading.
Making dough is pretty exciting for little kids. Not only do you get to measure and pour, but you get to get your hands in it! And they love the finished product, especially if it’s slathered in butter. (Making pizza is another great project for kids).
Kids love to help and feel like they’re valued members of the family. There are so many projects they can be involved with, even if they are still little. It just takes a little extra planning … and a lot of patience.
Do your kids have any favorite DIY projects? Share them below!
photo by TedLee